By Jonathan Caudle, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech volleyball team continues their homestand this weekend as it prepares to host Eastern Kentucky and Morehead State on Friday, October 4 and Saturday, October 5 at the Hooper Eblen Center.
The Golden Eagles (5-10, 1-1 OVC) enter the weekend following a 1-1 week to open OVC play. Tech opened league play on the road as they fell in straight sets to Jacksonville State, before returning home for their OVC home opener, which ended with a 3-1 victory over the Southeast Missouri Redhawks.
- The Golden Eagles went 1-1 last week to open Ohio Valley Conference play as they fell in straight sets to Jacksonville State before closing the week in a four-set victory over Southeast Missouri.
- Ali Verzani recorded a new career-high 23 kills against the Southeast Missouri Redhawks.
- Carly Skrabak also set a new personal best as she tallied a career-high 32 digs against the Redhawks.
- Taylor Dorsey led the Golden Eagles in blocks last week, tying a career-high eight blocks against Southeast Missouri.
- Ashley Hand dished out 65 assists and helping lead the Golden Eagles to a .157 hitting clip during their two-game stretch against Jacksonville State and Southeast Missouri.
SCOUTING THE COLONELS
Eastern Kentucky (2019 record: 6-10, 1-1 OVC | Series Record: 20-62)
Eastern Kentucky enters the weekend with a 6-10 record and has opened OVC play 1-1, falling in four sets to Tennessee State, before earning the 3-0 sweep over the Belmont Bruins.
As a team, the Colonels are hitting .150 on the season. Abby Noll and Kaylin Johnson lead the way for Eastern Kentucky with 186 and 117 kills, respectively. Rachel Wood has dished out the most assists so far this season for the Colonels, collecting 360 on the season and averaging eight per set. Four Colonels have recorded triple-digit digs so far in 2019, with Dena Tekavec leading the way as the only EKU player with over 200 at 223 on the season, averaging 4.29 per set. At the net, Kaylin Johnson has recorded a team-leading 44 blocks on the season, eight of which were solo.
Eastern Kentucky leads the all-time series against the Golden Eagles, 62-20. The Colonels secured a pair of five-set wins over Tennessee Tech last season, which included Tech's OVC opener in Richmond.
SCOUTING THE EAGLES
Morehead State (2019 record: 11-3, 2-0 OVC | Series Record: 19-68)
Morehead State enters the weekend with the best overall record in the OVC at 11-3 and finished their first weekend of league play unbeaten. The Eagles are currently on a five-game winning streak after finishing with a 3-0 record in the Comfort Inn-Vitational with wins over Marshall, Coppin State, and Southeastern Louisiana. Morehead State continued the momentum into conference play as they earned a four-set win over Belmont and a sweep of Tennessee State last week.
Offensively, the Eagles are led by Olivia Lohmeier who has recorded 242 kills on the season. Lauren Rokey joins Lohmeier in triple-digits for the Eagles as she has tallied a second-best 163 kills in 2019. Morehead State's Bridget Bessler has dished out a team-leading 432 assists, helping the Eagles to a .222 clip so far this season. Defensively, the Eagles have a trio holding down the back row as Allison Whitten, Olivia Montellsciani, and Danielle McCarson have recorded 220, 204, and 154 digs respectively this season. Mia Swearingen leads Morehead State at the net as she has tallied a team-high 52 blocks this season.
Morehead State holds the series lead all-time 68-19 over Tech. The Eagles took the pair of 2018 matchups, earning a straight-set victory before taking the second victory by way of a four-set battle.
The Golden Eagles will take to the road over the next two weeks, making their first stop in Nashville next weekend as they take on the Belmont Bruins on Friday, October 11, followed by a matchup against the Tennessee State Tigers on Saturday, October 12.
Live stats, as well as a paid broadcast on ESPN+, will be available for each match. For additional game updates, follow @TNTechVball on Twitter.
Photo by Jim Dillon